A leap into the world of advertising

As many of you will know, I maintain and develop the Diocese of Chelmsford web site, which is a big (800+ pages) site with lots of content and serves a lot of people.  One of our monthly printed publications, The Month, is also published online for people to download as a PDF.  I have to be honest, although I upload the file every month I don’t actually read it!  However, it occurred to me that a publication like this would be an ideal place to advertise.

After a few e-mails and phone calls to the publishers, Cornerstone Vision, I ended up sending them a small advert, and I’m pleased to report that it’s in this month’s Month!  The newspaper will be delivered to churches in Essex and East London soon, so you’ll be able to pick up a copy free from any Anglican church in the area, or of course you can download it to view on your computer.  And my advert appears on page 3!  How cool is that?!  I’ve got another two ads lined up for further issues too, so hopefully I’ll see some return on that.

So far my business has been going quite well without the need for advertising.  Most of my clients have heard about me through word of mouth or through links from web sites I’ve designed.  I did send a load of e-mails out to churches last January, and got a couple of new clients that way, but this is actually the first time I’ve actually put any money into advertising properly.  I did debate whether paying for additional coverage on Yell.com would be of benefit, but it turned out to be rather expensive and not necessarily targetting the sort of people who would be interested in my services.

Advertising in The Month should in theory be a much better approach for me.  Since I specialise in providing web sites for churches and Christian organisations, it makes sense to advertise in places where those people might look.  And it turns out to be fairly affordable too – for three ads in non-consecutive issues it came to somewhere in the region of £170.  So as long as I get at least one client from it, I’ll make my money back!  That’s not bad.  I wait with baited breath…

And, as if that wasn’t enough, I’ll soon be able to boost my business slightly by being able to offer web hosting packages too.  I’m still putting the details together and making sure I know exactly what I’m doing (after all, there’s no point providing hosting solutions if I can’t offer quality), but it’s gonna happen fairly soon.  I’ve transferred my business web site to the new server, and I’ll be transferring my existing clients there soon too, and once that’s done I’ll be able to start offering a range of packages to everyone else too.  With a 20% discount for churches, naturally.  It’s all quite fun actually, putting all the packages together, and should make my web design services all the more attractive, being able to provide a full package.  Of course, whether anyone actually takes me up on these offers is another matter, but only time will tell.

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